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How should you handle custody of your teen?

handle-custody.pngBeing a teen isn't easy. Their bodies and emotions are often in flux at this age. There are pressures put on them to do well in school and extracurricular activities and to prepare themselves for adulthood. All of this can be difficult for them to manage. If their parents announce that they're getting divorced, this may add another level of complexity to a teen's life, especially if they have to travel between their mom's and dad's homes.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to devising a shared custody schedule. Parents must take into account their careers and preferences when negotiating how to split custody. What's perhaps most important, though, is that they maintain a semblance of normalcy for their teen.

Teens tend to spend the bulk of their time in school, participating in extracurricular activities and with their friends. They don't respond well to unwanted change.

One of the worst things that moms and dads of adolescents can do is interfere with their kids' time with their friends. Any custody schedule that the two of you come up with should emphasize flexibility so that the teens don't feel like they're missing out on something.

Parents of teens must realize that extracurricular practices don't just last an hour anymore. They can last for multiple hours or even several days. Tournaments or competitions can take place over an entire weekend. Teens often participate in class trips or take part in activities during school breaks. Parents who agree to alternating custody every few days, over the weekends or every other week may find that this doesn't accommodate their teen's many obligations.

It's not uncommon for teens to take on part-time jobs. Parents have to consider how their teens' work commitments may impact any custodial time they get to spend with them.

Parenting teens is complicated. It's even more complex when you try to force them to spend time with you and skip participating in extracurricular activities or hanging out with friends. Raising a teen here in San Antonio can also be costly. If they have a car, then there's the added expense of gas and insurance. There are costs associated with school events, e.g., graduation.

A Texas family law attorney can advise you of your right to seek custody and child support for your teen. Your attorney can help you broker a deal with your ex that works for all parties involved.

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Accolades & Achievements

Brandon, Karen, Michael, Megan Are Proud To Have Achieved The Following Legal Accolades for Exemplary Legal Service.

*Karen Marvel was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2008-2019 as a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service)

**Karen Marvel is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization